No more Venice water town! China plans to limit foreign words in place and street names

China has announced it plans to place restrictions on foreign words that can be used in place and street names.


Venice water town, Shanghai, China. Image by Payton Chung / CC BY 2.0

The Civil Affairs Ministry said it would change a number of place, street, building and geographical names that currently use foreign words or conventions. Additionally, it said place names that cause damage or otherwise project an unsavoury image will also be changed. A number of streets and residential compounds in China take foreign names or foreign-inspired Chinese names, such as ‘Manhattan Plaza’ or ‘Venice water town’. The ministry said it will carry out a survey of place names that will last until 2018.

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